Rating: R for graphic violence, language
Summary: Sawyer meets up with the real Sawyer
Spoilers: Up through “Outlaws." Completely speculative fic. No idea if this is *anywhere* near the actual plot of that episode or not. Also if you’ve never seen the original “Get Carter,” spoilers here.
Note: Pretty much what you’d expect from this scenario. Nothing fancy, just revenge served cold. Inspired mostly by this not-so-spoilerish promo photo.
Sawyer sat in the rented car just outside the streetlights’ reach, the gun in his lap, the last few jolts of whiskey still revving through his system. The neighborhood was sketchy enough that no one gave him a second look, if they’d even noticed someone sitting in the dark, his eyes hooded over as he stared across the street.
In a few minutes, maybe, the man he’d been hunting all these years -- hell, was it almost 30 years now? -- would walk out those doors and then Sawyer would get him alone, beat the shit out of him, and then blow his brains out.
He’d thought about it so many times. The older he got, the more graphic the violence became in his mind. Sometimes he drew the payback out over several days. He’d find some kind of dungeon, chain the bastard up and just torture the fucker. Cigarette butts. Blowtorch. A baseball bat. Or just a knife, held to his balls while the cocksucker begged to keep ‘em. Maybe Sawyer would feed them to him.
Sawyer -- how would he introduce himself to the real Sawyer? -- would torment him first, have him sobbing in pain and then ask him to guess why he deserved it. Get the fucker to spill his guts, confess his sins. See if he even remembered a certain couple from Knoxville, Tennessee, 1976. See if he remembered him.
Would Sawyer give him the letter? It couldn’t help but feel anticlimactic. After all these years, he knew the moment would never live up to the years of accumulated hate. Worse, he was afraid of being laughed at, of realizing that the man who had ruined his life didn’t remember him or his mama at all. There were probably so many, just as there had been so many for Sawyer.
Would he tell him that he had become Sawyer? How he had become Sawyer? He couldn’t. It would be giving him more power over him, admitting that he had seduced him, too. Admitting the hold he had on him.
He’d spent far too much time looking for the man already. He’d had only the barest of leads to go on, and tracking a con man, one who changed his name and appearance constantly, was like looking for a needle in a fucking countryside of haystacks. Now here he was, on another fucking continent, having followed the thread to this fucking bar on this fucking street in this fucking city.
He had his Taser with him. The gun he had bought through some very obscure channels, this being a non-gun-toting country and all. He had a few other surprises in his grab bag. He ran over all the ways he could inflict payback on this man, like he was reciting a familiar prayer. A prayer of pain. Or death.
He would swoop in like the goddamn avenging angel of death himself. What it was that guy had said in that movie? “I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger.” Something like that.
Sawyer wasn’t going to say any bullshit like that. Not his style. He just wanted to whisper his intentions into this man’s ear, like he was whispering all the things he wanted to do to his lover. He wanted the guy to literally lose his shit, crap himself from fear. He wanted the man to beg him for his life and he would consider it and then he would just carve off a piece of him and consider it some more.
The door swung open and Sawyer tensed. A heavyset man with a blond woman on his arm walked out. It wasn’t him. Sawyer relaxed, barely. He wanted a cigarette more than anything, but he didn’t want anyone to see the glowing cigarette or the smoke. Later, he could light up, burn some patterns on the guy’s face maybe.
Sawyer looked at his watch. Only a little after midnight. Still early. He could sit here all night, all day, for the rest of his fucking life to get this guy. He’d already spent his whole life waiting for him. What were a few more hours?
A grinding noise came from his mouth and he realized he was clenching his jaw. He took a breath and blew it out. No point in giving himself a heart attack. Now wouldn’t that be fuckin’ ironic? Man waits years to get his revenge, then drops dead as a fuckin’ doornail right when he’s about to close the deal.
“Want some company?” A tired-looking black woman in a short blonde wig leaned her head into his car. Great, some lousy two-bit whore. Just what he needed.
“Fuck off,” Sawyer growled, glaring at her. “I’m busy.”
“OK, I’m goin’,” she said, and if she saw the gun in his lap, she knew better than to say anything about it.
But it worried him. She’d seen his face. Might remember him, connect him when a body turned up in a day or two. Better not actually use the gun, he decided. Just use it to get him alone, then kill him some other way. Dead was still dead.
In the momentary distraction, he realized he’d taken his eyes off the door. A tall, middle-aged man had stopped to light a cigarette and Sawyer’s eyes glinted when he saw the man’s features in the glare of the match. It was him. Sawyer’s stomach lurched as he i.d.’d. him. No question.
The man walked slowly, but with a definite swagger. Sawyer remembered that walk. For a second, he felt like he couldn’t breathe, but he shook it off. No way he was going to let a momentary panic stop him now.
The man kept walking, strolling really. “Hurry the fuck up,” Sawyer urged him silently. Sawyer waited until the man was leaning over a nondescript Toyota to unlock it, and then he made his move. Making sure no one was around, he stole up behind him and put the gun to his head. “Move and you’re fuckin’ dead,” he said in a low voice. He jabbed the barrel against the man’s skull for emphasis.
“What do you want?” came the cool response. Sawyer remembered the voice, too, deep, with just a hint of a West Texas accent. He was one smooth customer, Sawyer would give him that. No begging, no pleading, no panic. Just getting right down to brass tacks. It would make things easier.
“The keys,” Sawyer hissed in his ear. “Hand ‘em over. And don’t try anything because I got no problem pullin’ this trigger.”
The man paused, weighing his options, and then handed over his keys. As he did so, he turned and made a grab for Sawyer’s gun. Sawyer clocked him with it hard, catching his temple with the butt end. The man cried out and sank to his knees. Sawyer put the gun under his chin.
”Stop fuckin’ around,” he said. “Turn around. Wrists.” The man did as instructed and Sawyer pulled out the cuffs from his bag of tricks and snapped them tight with a satisfying click.
“If you want the car, just take it,” the man was saying.
“I ain’t after the car,” Sawyer said, his voice full of hate, “I’m here for you.”
“I don’t know you,” the man said reasonably. “You don’t know me.”
“Oh, I know you, all right,” Sawyer hissed, prodding the man to get up. Sawyer opened up the trunk. “Get in,” he said and the man swallowed hard, looked at the gun, at Sawyer’s resolute face, and got in.
Sawyer slammed the trunk shut on his all-together-too cool-for-his-liking captive, threw in his goody bag and drove to the empty warehouse he had earlier arranged to borrow for an indefinite amount of time.
He turned off the engine. Utter silence. The man in the trunk wasn’t yelling or kicking or screaming for the cops. By now he had to be thinking over Sawyer’s words, wondering who Sawyer was, why he was there “for him.”
Sawyer decided to let him stew a little bit longer. He lit up a cigarette, feeling the nicotine calm him down. He was on edge, excited and, he had to admit, a little scared. Actually doing this felt unreal. He jumped at a sudden pain in his hand. He had let the cigarette burn down between his finger and thumb. He threw the glowing butt away and decided to get to work.
He knocked on the trunk of the car with the gun. Metallic echoes. The bastard had to know it was the gun he was knocking with.
“You hear me in there?” Sawyer said.
“Yes,” came the muffled reply.
“You ever see that movie with Michael Caine? Get Carter. Not the fuckin’ Rambo remake. The original one, from the ‘70s?” He rapped on the trunk.
“Ye .. yes.”
“Good. You remember that scene where the girl’s in the trunk of the car and it goes into the water? And you remember what Caine does?”
“He just watches it go in. He doesn’t make a fuckin’ move to save her. She’s drowning and he barely even bats an eye. Well, that’s one way this little party can end tonight. There’s an embankment near here. Deep enough water. Not really my neck of the woods, you understand, but I checked it out. No one would find you for days. But first the water would come in, inch by inch, as you scream and yell for someone to fuckin’ save you. But no one would.”
The man in the trunk gave no answer.
“You don’t have a fuckin’ clue why you’re here, do you?” Sawyer continued.
The bastard was sure a tightlipped motherfucker. “Think back over your long, illustrious career,” Sawyer said, pulling out one of the speeches he had memorized over the years. “All the people you done wrong, all the pain you caused, all the lives you ruined. I’m one of them,” he added with a menacing growl.
“So you’re not gonna beg me for your life? Smart boy. Because I’m gonna take it, no matter what you say, no matter what you do. Because you’ve been dead a long time. You’ve been dead for 30 years, old man.”
“What did I do to you?” came the question.
“Oh, it wasn’t me,” Sawyer said. “You wouldn’t remember me.” This wasn’t any good. Either the guy was scared shitless or he wasn’t. He needed to see his face, watch his reactions. Sawyer traded the gun for the Taser. He unlocked the trunk and shone a flashlight into the man’s eyes.
The man blinked back, startled, but seemingly more angry than scared.
“Merry Fuckin’ Christmas,” Sawyer said, and zapped him with the stun gun.
Sawyer sat and smoked until the man regained consciousness. He waited for him to realize he was now dangling from his wrists by an electrical cord hung over a rafter, his legs tethered to two metal posts.
Sawyer had already gone through his wallet. He was calling himself John Forrester these days, but then Sawyer already knew that. The wallet had several crisp $100 bills in it, numerous credit cards, a video store membership card, and a library card of all things. No family photos.
He took a good look at the man. He had obviously been handsome once, perhaps might still be considered so. His dark hair was graying at the temples. He was dressed well, but not too well. The suit was tailored but not designer. He looked like an anonymous businessman, respectable but not particularly memorable. His nose looked like it might have been broken a time or two but somehow it did not mar the otherwise ordinariness of his appearance.
The man was coming to. He groaned and slowly opened his eyes. He took in Sawyer sitting there, scowling at him, and then looked up at his arms. He didn’t say anything, just fixed Sawyer with a level, unblinking gaze.
“So here’s how this works,” Sawyer said. “I ask you a question and you answer right quick or there’s going to be a lot of really fuckin’ painful hell to pay. Understand?”
The man spat on the ground. Sawyer stood up and punched him in the stomach. Hard. “Let’s have an attitude adjustment, Forrester,” he said in his ear. “Or should I call you Thompson? Or Kent? Or Sawyer?
None of those names brought a response from the man.
“How long has it been since you were Sawyer?”
The man looked at him curiously at the odd inflection in the question, but he just shrugged as best he could with his hands over his head.
“Still living off pretty women and their dumb husbands?”
No answer. Sawyer punched him in the kidneys this time. The man grunted and nodded. “I didn’t hear you,” Sawyer said, punching him again, harder this time.
“Yes.” The man spat out the word.
Sawyer snorted in acknowledgment of this news. “How many has it been, over the years?”
The man gave him a dead-eyed stare. Sawyer would have to work a lot harder to loosen him up.
“Do you remember any of the women you fucked?” he asked, a cruel edge in his voice. He grabbed the Taser again, putting it to the man’s crotch and was rewarded with some truly piercing screams before he passed out again.
“So you were one of their brats,” the man said weakly when he finally came to and recovered his voice. “Fuckin’ long time to hold a grudge. What did you say, 30 years ago?”
“1976,” Sawyer said, feeling a rush of adrenaline surge through him to get to the topic at last. “Knoxville, Tennessee. Maybe you remember hearing about it in the news? But I guess you had already blown town by then.”
The man flinched, eyeing the Taser again. He looked like he was really trying to remember. “You want me to lie?” he finally said.
Sawyer clenched his jaw. “The Colliers. Remember them? Robert and Suzanne Collier?”
Recognition dawned on the man’s face. “Oh,” he said, clearly recalling the news item. “Oh, hell.” He actually looked remorseful. “I ... I’m sorry, kid. Johnny, wasn't it?"
“Sorry? Sorry doesn’t cut it,” Sawyer said, not sure how he felt that the man did remember him. This time he grabbed a knife. He held it to the man’s throat, letting the tip cut into the soft underside of his chin. “You ruined my life. You might as well have pulled the trigger yourself.”
The man swallowed, unsure what Sawyer wanted him to do next. “You ever kill anyone?’ Sawyer continued.
“No,” the man said. “Just stole a lot.” The fucker dared to smile at Sawyer. He punched him in the gut again, seeing the color drain out of his face with satisfaction.
“Well, I guess that makes me worse than you,” Sawyer said, pressing harder on the blade until he drew blood. The man’s sharp intake of breath hissed in his ear.
This man had fucked his mother. “It makes me sick just to look at you,” Sawyer said, the whiskey in his stomach turning into bile as he said it. He started choking at the bitter taste in his mouth. He turned and spit it out and then walked several feet away to collect his thoughts.
He had gotten what he wanted from him, hadn’t he? The man remembered his parents. He said he was sorry. What else did Sawyer want from him, he asked himself.
He wanted him to bleed. To suffer. He could do that now. That’s why he had searched for him all these years.
Sawyer turned back and looked at the man hanging limply from the rafter. He wanted to gut him, have him bleeding in puddles all over the concrete floor, have him beg for his life.
Charged with fresh fury, he went back to his bag and grabbed the aluminum baseball bat. He tapped the end on the floor a few times, enjoying the echo, seeing that at last there was fear in the man’s eyes.
Sawyer swung once, missing on purpose. He swung again, connecting with the man’s ribs. A guttural grunt was the response. Sawyer readied the bat again, this time aiming for the man’s kneecaps and stopping just short of actually hitting them. Then he swung it again, hard, unexpectedly, hitting him in the thigh with a sickening thunk. Not pausing, Sawyer viciously hit the man in his soft belly with the bat handle. Once. Twice. Three times.
He stopped finally, surveying the damage. They were both gasping. The man’s face was a sickly gray and he looked about 20 years older than when they’d started. His body sagged against his bindings and he looked like he might be sick soon.
“What’s your real name? Or do you even remember anymore?” The man just stared at him blankly, not giving him anything. Sawyer put down the bat and reached up and yanked a finger to the breaking point. “I can’t hear you,” he said, repeating the question through gritted teeth. “Jack ... Jack Slater,” came the pained answer just as the finger went crack and the man let out a howl.
And suddenly Sawyer was tired down to his bones. The man just looked old and harmless, valiantly trying to keep from losing it in the face of certain death. Was he actually starting to feel sorry for the motherfucker?
If he kept going, he’d be worse than the man he had become, but he didn’t have to take the next step. He could still stop now. What he really wanted, he couldn’t have -- to make it so this man had never existed.
Killing him now wouldn’t undo the past. It sounded like a fuckin’ saying on a Hellmark greeting card, but Sawyer knew it had always been true. He could carve the bastard into hamburger but then he’d have to live with that in his brain. And Sawyer knew he couldn’t. He stashed the bat and picked up the knife again, mesmerized by the few bright red drops on the blade.
Sawyer walked back over to the man, who flinched as he came nearer. “End of the road, pal,” Sawyer said, giving him one final, appraising glance. “Get off the con and make it right with as many people as you can, ya savvy?” The man blinked in surprise, but nodded.
Sawyer stared at him for another minute or two, then flicked the knife under the man’s now very nervous eyes. With a quick movement, he carved an “X” on his cheek. “To keep you straight,” he said to his startled enemy.
Then he put the knife in the man’s bound hands. “You should be able to get yourself free,” he said. “I don’t think I need to mention just why you won’t be going to the cops.”
“Looks like I’m taking your car after all,” Sawyer said as he climbed in and drove off.
There was still time to hit another bar. Sawyer found one that was nearly deserted and ordered a bottle of whiskey with the man's money. He sat there, drinking it slowly and playing back the wholly unsatisfying session in his mind, feeling like he’d done too much to the man and yet not nearly enough. He hadn’t been able to go through with it, after all, and he didn’t know how to feel about that. At the end of the day, had he done anything more than brutally beat an old man?
He sat there, smoking and drinking until well after closing time, refusing to budge until they threw his ass out on the sidewalk.
I decided that Sawyer’s little run-in with the cops from “Hearts and Minds” (and with Jack’s dad?) would have to have taken place on another, less busy night.